White House Says Netanyahu ‘Departing From Protocol’ With U.S. Visit

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Estee Ackerman
Estee Ackerman

By Michael Wilner

The White House expressed displeasure with the handling of an upcoming visit by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to the United States on Wednesday, after the Israeli premier received an invitation by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress next month.

Boehner told reporters he did not inform the White House of his plans to invite Netanyahu to the U.S. until this morning. Neither did the prime minister’s office.

Aboard Air Force One en route to Idaho, U.S. President Barack Obama’s press secretary said that typical protocol for the visit of a national figurehead had been breached somewhere along the way.

“The protocol would suggest that the leader of one country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama aboard Air Force One.

“This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol,” Earnest said.

The White House declined to comment on whether the president will receive Netanyahu during his visit.

Netanyahu’s last visit to the U.S. in October included some unwelcome exchanges, now routine in his relationship with Obama.

At that time, Earnest questioned the Israeli government’s commitment to the pursuit of peace in light of its settlement activities less than an hour after he met with the president in the Oval Office.

The prime minister’s office has not yet confirmed whether Netanyahu will accept Boehner’s invitation. (JPost.com) 

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